Connecticut Mechanics Lien Requirements
Connecticut’s mechanics lien law sets forth specific, often complex requirements that construction parties must follow in order to file a lien claim. Read the step-by-step guide to filing a mechanics lien in Connecticut.
Connecticut law requires the use of a two-part test in order to determine if a party has mechanics lien rights. The “physical enhancement test” requires that the services or materials must enhance the property physically, lay the groundwork for same, or be an essential part in the scheme of physical improvement.
In addition, the labor or materials must have been provided in the construction, raising, removal, or repair of a building or its appurtenances, or in the improvement or subdivision of any plot of land. The value of rental equipment is allowed.
There is no specific requirement in Connecticut that a lien claimant must be licensed to file a valid mechanic’s lien in most cases. However, on residential projects, only registered contractors who comply with the Home Improvement Act or New Home Construction Contractors Act have lien rights with the exception that licensed professionals are not required to comply with the HIA or NHCCA when they are performing the work for which they are licensed.
In order to be valid, a Connecticut mechanic’s lien must be recorded within 90 days of the last day on which the lien claimant performed services or furnished materials.
Connecticut does not have preliminary notice requirements prior to performing work on the project.
However, if the general contractor properly files an affidavit within 15 days after commencement of work, subcontractors and suppliers are required to serve the original contractor (in addition to the property owner) with a copy of a Notice of Intent to Lien.
All lien claimants who do not have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner must provide a Notice of Intent to Lien to the owner (and the original contractor if applicable) before filing the Certificate of Lien.
Lien form requirements
A Connecticut mechanics lien must contain the following information:
- Property description
- Claim amount
- Property owner
- The date of first furnishing
- A statement that the amount claimed is justly due
In addition, the mechanics lien form must be signed by the claimant himself, notarized, and attested to under oath.
The completed mechanics lien form must be filed with the recorder’s office in the Connecticut county where the property is located. A mechanics lien can be delivered in person, by mail, or by FedEx. The proper filing fees must be included. If delivered by mail or FedEx, provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope with return instructions for copies of the lien.
Connecticut also requires that, no later than 30 days after the Certificate of Lien is filed with the town clerk, a true and attested copy of the certificate must be served on the owner of the property. Failure to complete this step can invalidate the lien claim.
In Connecticut, mechanics liens have priority over any encumbrance originating after the materials and/or labor giving rise to the mechanics lien was furnished to the property. Note that, in Connecticut, the mechanics lien privilege arises when the labor and/or material is furnished, not when the lien is recorded.
Therefore, in Connecticut, a mechanic’s lien takes precedence over any other encumbrance that originate after services or materials were provided to the property, including mortgages. So, a mortgage that was executed but not recorded until after services were performed is subsequent in priority to a valid mechanic’s lien, and a mortgage that was both executed and recorded prior to the furnishing if labor and/or materials to the project has priority over the mechanics lien.
All mechanic’s liens are of the same priority, and if the total amount of several mechanic’s liens exceeds the lienable fund, the lien claims may be apportioned.
Enforcing the lien
A mechanics lien in Connecticut is valid for 1 year from the recording date. If unpaid, claimants must take action to enforce their lien before this deadline expires. The timeframe to enforce a Connecticut lien cannot be extended.